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Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation Robert Boehm

Robert Boehm, 1914-2006

Robert Boehm passed away December 26, 2006. He was one of the founders of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy in 1981, served as its longtime treasurer, and remained active in LCNP in recent years. Bob was a sweet and kind man, but fierce in his convictions and activism. Below is the obituary from the New York Times.

Robert Boehm, 92, Leader of Rights Group, Is Dead
By Wolfgang Saxon
New York Times
Published: December 31, 2006

Robert Boehm, the chairman of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a Manhattan-based nonprofit group most recently in the forefront of an effort to secure legal rights for military prisoners held by the United States at Guantánamo and elsewhere, died on Tuesday at his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He was 92.

The death was announced by his family and by the center, of which he was a mainstay since its founding in 1966.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, prompted by the civil-rights struggle, gained support after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. It was started by four lawyers — William M. Kunstler, Arthur Kinoy, Morton Stavis and Benjamin E. Smith — who maintained their private practices while volunteering their time for cases taken on by the center.

Mr. Boehm helped rally financial backing for the organization as the center built its legal support network for the civil-rights movement. He also helped the center branch out to challenge American policies in Central America and assist victims of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Philippines.

He led the center’s legal team in litigation arising from the deadly Attica prison rioting in 1971. He also played an active role in many other organizations with liberal and leftist leanings.

Robert Boehm (pronounced Bome) was born in Manhattan and graduated in 1935 from Dartmouth College.
His activism started in 1938 after he joined the National Lawyers Guild while he was a law student.

He received his law degree in 1939 from Columbia and went to work at his father’s law firm. That year, he married his father’s secretary, Frances Rozran, who remained a partner in his political and social activism until her death in February.

He served in the Navy Signal Corps during World War II, returning to Manhattan and the law in 1945. Starting in the 1950s, his practice began to focus more and more on matters of social inequities and civil rights. He often submitted letters to the editor and also wrote poetry reflecting on his personal life and his political convictions.

He had attended board and executive meetings of the center until two months ago, even when he was in frail health.
Mr. Boehm is survived by two daughters, Dr. Wendy Olesker of Manhattan and Diane Boehm of Albuquerque, N.M.; a sister, Lucille Boehm Banta of Manhattan; and three grandchildren.


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